Katie: After a warm, sunny summer, it’s hard to see the days getting shorter and the air getting chillier. At least there’s one thing that helps make the transition to fall a bit easier: pumpkins!! I’ve been spotting pumpkins, or as I’m always corrected “squash”, at the farmer’s market for the last couple of weeks. I made two batches of muffins with the ambercup squash I found.
After a difficult week, I was in need of a pumpkin to cheer me up a little. I had a butternut squash to use, but didn’t want to make anything too wintery yet. Since sweet corn is still in season, I was happy to find this recipe for Roasted Butternut and Corn Salad. The roasted butternut and corn made an interesting combination. I only used 1/2 of a chili pepper for the dressing, but it was still pretty spicy, so I’m glad I decided not to mix it in the salad. I added extra fresh basil. The toasted sunflower seeds and feta cheese enhanced the other flavors. Next time, I might try adding some lime or lemon juice or even some yogurt to the dressing to balance the spiciness.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Corn Salad (adapted slightly from The First Mess)
- 1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
- olive oil
- 1/2 – 1 small chili/hot pepper (I used a Thai chili pepper)
- 3 ears of corn, husked and cleaned
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp agave nectar
- 1/2 clove of garlic, sliced
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (I toasted them in a skillet over medium-high heat until they were lightly brown)
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2-4 fresh basil leaves, slivered
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix the pieces of squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out onto a baking sheet. Add the whole chili to the sheet as well. Roast until the squash is soft, about 30 minutes. The chili should be crinkly and slightly brown. Remove the seeds and stem from the chili and set aside.
While the squash is roasting, cut the corn from the cobs. Mix with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until corn begins to turn light brown. Set aside.
For the dressing, combine the apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, garlic, roasted chili, dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons oil, water, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend mixture until well-mixed.
Combine the squash, corn, and basil in a large bowl. Top individual servings with dressing, roasted seeds, and feta cheese.